In the recently held ‘Giving Tuesday’, Peter Chasse, President and Founder of the Water Project, a nonprofit that does work in Africa and accepts Bitcoin for donations, says that Bitcoin could be a game-changer. His opinion is adding to the view that shows Bitcoin could play a vital role in philanthropy as it can reduce a lot of unnecessary expenses in transactions.
In fact, the Bitcoin Foundation reported about $4.8 million in assets for the end of 2013, despite the fact that it is not engaged directly in philanthropic activities. The organization facilitates a lot of activities that are helping philanthropists collect donations in the digital currency and ‘Giving Tuesday’ was one such event.
At the occasion of ‘Giving Tuesday’ Peter Chasse was optimistic about the role of the digital currency in philanthropic activities and said, “As our supporter’s donations make their way to our partners in Africa, these exchanges have become far more costly than the benefits organizations and individuals actually receive from these arbiters of trade.”
Peter Chasse also admitted that from credit card donation processing fees, to domestic banking fees, to the costly overseas transfer of funds with its concomitant dilution through currency trading arbitrage and trade commissions, and finally to the local bank fees in Kenya or Rwanda, a lot of folks take significant “cuts” along the way.
Overhead Costs of Donations Down to Zero in Bitcoin
According to him, most of these fees are obscured and non-negotiable. The authorities also do not tell any solution to make the process short and less expensive; in such a situation it is Bitcoin that is the beacon of hope. He says it is a system this open that tends to be harder to manipulate and skew in favor of one population or another.
Peter Chasse says that when Bitcoin is used for donations there is no scope for manipulation by the banks; the benefits reach directly to the people who the donations are intended for. His opinion seems to be in the tune with several not-for-profit organizations in Africa working for elimination of Ebola. Some of them received attractive amounts in Bitcoin.
Looks like Peter Chasse is not alone in admitting that Bitcoin can be the real game-changer in philanthropy, even the venture capitalist Fred Wilson says that the digital currency was a bigger deal than current crowdraising platforms, as it could bring the overhead costs of donations down to zero.
To contact the reporter of this story: Deepak Tiwari at firstname.lastname@example.org